Tibetans gather at monastery in Golok after self-immolation of young monk

WARNING: Graphic image
Tsering Gyal

Tsering Gyal in an undated photo.

Tsering Gyal

Tsering Gyal on fire in Pema (Chinese: Baima) county in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo).

UPDATE: November 12, 2013 Tibetan monks and laypeople have converged upon a monastery in Golok (Chinese: Guoluo) after the self-immolation of 20-year old monk Tsering Gyal on November 11. Tsering Gyal was heard calling the name of the Dalai Lama as he ran down the road in flames.

Tsering Gyal set fire to himself in Pema (Chinese: Baima) county in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo). He was taken to a hospital nearby after police extinguished the flames. According to some Tibetan sources, he is believed to have died.

Security has been tightened in the area as monks from different monasteries have converged upon the town to pray.

One of the Tibetan sources said that when he was on his way to hospital, “Tsering Gyal said that his self immolation is for the unity of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet. He said that he hoped Tibetans will stand together, facing both difficulties and happiness. He also said that he hoped Tibetans would protect and preserve their language and cultural identity, and said that these were his final expectations and hopes.”

An eyewitness told a Tibetan in exile: “The man self immolated nearby a statue in the center of the county town and ran towards a government building. The person fell down to the ground after 10-12 yards. It was very clear that he was shouted ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama’ more than 10 times.”


Tibetans have gathered at a monastery in Golok (Chinese: Guoluo) after the self-immolation of a 20-year old monk earlier today (November 11), according to Tibetan sources in exile.

The monk, named as Tsering Gyal by various sources from the area speaking to Tibetans in exile, set fire to himself in Pema (Chinese: Baima) county in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai (the Tibetan area of Amdo). He was taken to a hospital nearby after police extinguished the flames and it is not known if he is still alive.

Tsering Gyal was a monk from Akyong monastery, which follows the Jonang tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, according to the same sources, including a Tibetan who spoke to an eyewitness.

The self-immolation occurred as security was intensified in Beijing for an important Party meeting, the third Party plenum being held from November 9-12.

Another Tibetan source told Radio Free Asia: “[Tsering Gyal] did it for the freedom of six million Tibetans and to highlight the need to re-install His Holiness the Dalai Lama to his golden throne. He called on the Tibetans to rise up now.” (RFA, Young Tibetan Monk Sets Himself on Fire to Protest Chinese Rule).

Harrowing images emerged of Tibetans gathered in the street as a Tibetan is engulfed in flames, lying in the road.

Tsering Gyal¹s self-immolation follows the death of a Tibetan father of two who set fire to himself and died on September 28 in Gomang village, Ngaba (Chinese: Aba) county. Before Shichung died, he had lit a butter-lamp before an image of the Dalai Lama. Young monk Tsering Gyal is the 123rd Tibetan to self-immolate since February, 2009. (ICT, Self-immolations by Tibetans).

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